A detailed discussion of the way in which the work was made, including an assessment of its workmanship or characteristics of execution, the construction methods used, or the specific applications of techniques.



Facture - Description


A prose description of the facture of the work of art.


"Fuseli has applied his wash from the upper left to the lower right, most clearly evident in the lower-right quadrant, indicating that he drew the work with his left hand. Although he was apparently ambidextrous, Fuseli created most of his important drawings with his left hand; the direction of the shading may, therefore, be used as a test of authenticity in his graphic work." [1]

"On the other link-head of the Old Windsor bit is a series of four scribed circles. The largest of these circles is on the upper surface and is hollowed out for inlay and, like the vestigial stop-knobs, has the pin fastening still visible. There is a small area of rough matting design, as on Datchet produced by interrupted taps of the tracer. Matting also occurs on other horse-bits presumed to be contemporary." [2]

"The wonderful chiaroscuro effects, achieved with the strokes of a rag and the smudging of ink with the fingers, only partly model the figures and furnishings, which emerge as forms from the dark only with the help of assured contour lines quickly scratched in the plate with a sharp instrument." [3]


This category provides a detailed analysis of how the creator of a work manipulated the materials and techniques employed in its execution. It examines how a creator applied a particular process in the production of a work of art. This discussion may represent the opinion of the artist, or others, or may reflect the results of a technical analysis. It may also include a further clarification or elaboration of the information recorded in MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES.

This category provides an interpretive description of the physical makeup of an object or work of art, which outlines significant physical characteristics and highlights construction or manufacturing techniques. This may represent the opinion of the artist, drawn from recent experience or memory, or of a conservator drawn from technical examination. There may be different opinions about how a work of art was actually made, and the artist's recollections may or may not be supported by physical evidence.


This category is intended to provide a more technical description of the physical composition of the object than MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES - PROCESSES OR TECHNIQUES, and allows for discussion of its significant characteristics.

Specific working techniques may indicate temporal or geographic associations, and may be used to substantiate the dating or attribution of a work.


CONDITION/EXAMINATION HISTORY contains information about the studies of a work of art that provided information about its facture.

CONSERVATION/TREATMENT HISTORY records any interventions in the work, including restorations, which may have provided further insight into the facture of the work.

Materials and techniques mentioned in this category should be recorded in detail in MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES.


FACTURE is descriptive information commonly included in a descriptive note about the object.

Terms used to describe facture may often be the same as those used to describe technique in the category MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES, since the difference is simply one of the creative process (in the case of facture) and evidence of that process (in the case of technique). For this reason, the ability to compare information recorded as facture with information recorded as technique is important.

Facture - Remarks


Notes or comments pertinent to the facture of an object and the interpretation of evidence surrounding it. This may include a summary of a source containing information about the construction of a work of art.

Facture - Citations


References to sources containing information about the facture of a work or object.



1 Douglas Schoenherr, Master Drawings from the National Gallery of Canada (Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 1988), cat. no. 77, p. 245.

2 J.V.S. Megaw, The Art of the European Iron Age: A Study of the Elusive Image (New York and Evanston: Harper & Row, 1970), p. 154, cat. no. 256.

3 J.S. Boggs, Degas: An Exhibition Held at the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art; Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1988), cat. no. 196, p. 308.